Kids in SE Asia

Jan 24th, 2000, 05:48 AM
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Kids in SE Asia

We will be traveling to SE Asia mid-April thru mid-May, maybe longer depending on finances. We will be spending 10 days with ex-pat relatives in Hong Kong. With our children: son age 10 and daughter age 12, we would like spend time somewhere else too. Laos sounds wonderful, but so does the Phillipines, Vietnam, Thailand maybe...Shanghai? Are there any paticularly kid friendly places? We've spent months of travel on the cheap in Mexico which is great with kids. Any suggestions are welcome
Jan 24th, 2000, 01:01 PM
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We were in Thailand two years ago and spent a few days on Phuket. Even though we were not traveling with children, we did some things that kids would like. I loved the Monkey School where they train the monkeys to harvest coconuts. We also went to an aquarium/butterfly farm, a cashew factory, and hired long tails to take us out to Coral Island for snorkeling. We didn't do it, but half day "jungle safari" things are offered where you get to ride an elephant around (although you don't really go into the jungle) - the safari places were abundant. We hired a car (although tours are available) and went to Phang Nga Bay where the movie "Man with the Golden Gun" and another Bond movie was filmed. In addition to the incredible limestone islands that just soar out of the calm waters, we visited a Muslim fishing village which was very interesting. We also enjoyed Bangkok, but I didn't know if you'd be interested in the city - but please e-mail if you'd like additional info. I hope some of this helps - I think it's great that you are giving your kids these incredible experiences.
Jan 26th, 2000, 01:36 PM
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Since posting this I've looked at The Lonley Planet Thorn Tree subject: Travel with Kids. This is a great resource. SE Asia is said to be very child-friendly.The postings at this site are very informative and encouraging! Can't wait! But please, add your stories here!
Jan 31st, 2000, 11:07 PM
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If you are looking for wonderful and fun places, this posting may not be for you. I have lived in the Philippines when I was 11 and 12 years old travelling to several neighboring SE countries you mentioned. In addition to beauty found in the area, there many gems out there, I have learned the value of opportunities. This is what I want to share.

The most vivid memory at 11 yr old was visting a poverty stricken fishing village in the island of Mindanao. We have been to many beautiful resorts in the Philippines, but none left me lasting impression as walking thru this village. I do not know why my parents took me there. There was nothing pretty about it. I didn't even know if it was safe to go there. What I realized then that these were just as hardworking people as we are. The only difference was that we lived in a land of opportunities while these people were slave to the environment they were born in.

I now volunteer at local public schools. It saddens me to see these kids, floating in the sea of opportunities, letting them go by. I often think perhaps if they have seen what it is like living in a place with nothing; they would value and seize the opportunities they have now.
Feb 16th, 2000, 01:09 AM
Andy Collier
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I live in Hong Kong (from NY) with two kids, 7, 9. We've been to Shanghai, Beijing, Hanoi, Bangkok and Hua Hin. After toying with the thought of Nepal, Tibet and burma, we are now leaning toward Penang, Malaysia. Shanghai and Beijing were great with kids -- the Chinese love to touch them, which my daughter (red hair) found annoying, but there's lots to see and the kids had fun. Bangkok is crowded and tough to get around. Phuket is a good choice -- but I am concerned about spending the whole time around a pool. I may be wrong. Hanoi was fun and interesting -- good military museum, water puppets, jazz clu!). A bit offbeat but not too difficult. Good luck.
Feb 23rd, 2000, 07:46 PM
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Took my 10 year old daughter to Saigon and around Southern Vietnam in 1990. They just went NUTS over that blonde haired twerp in the pink spandex with lime green sunglasses! I took her up to Phan Rang on the coast, where I'd been stationed during the war. Most of these people had NEVER seen a white woman, let alone my little banshee. They absolutely loved her. They would ask to take her here and there to show her off to their friends/family. As noted by Greg, if you can't deal with poverty and begging, forget it. But if you're looking to give your kids a REAL memory and a REAL life lesson, go for it! You won't regret it. My daughter's almost 20 now and has indelible memories about her two trips to Vietnam. She made 2 other trips to Thailand, and also had a great time, but more resort oriented than adventure oriented. Enjoy!

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